Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
June 5, 1996
Sagittarius and the Central Milky Way
Credit and Copyright: Dave Palmer
Explanation: What does the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy look like? No one knows! It is not possible to see the Galactic centre in light our eyes are sensitive to because the thick dust in the plane of our Galaxy obscures it. If one looks in the direction of our Galaxy's centre - which is toward the constellation of Sagittarius - many beautiful wonders become apparent, though. The centre of the Milky Way is behind the centre of the photo. Large dust lanes and star clouds dominate the picture. As many as 30 Messier Objects are visible, including all types of nebula and star clusters. Two notable nebula include the Lagoon Nebula (M8), a small red patch just above centre, and slightly above this is the red and blue Trifid Nebula (M20). The lines through picture were caused by airplanes, and the dark objects in the foreground are trees.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.